Reading about Jessica's exploits in the weekend papers, I was struck with the idea that how dare I (and many others) deny Jessica the right to follow her goals! I realised there are a lot of parallels between her exploits and those of a writer. This is a short list:
- There would have been oodles of preparation before Jessica even thought of setting off - how much preparation is involved in planning a novel? a short story? Some people just sit down and wait for inspiration to come, whilst others, like moi, like to have a plan before I launch.
- In her planning, Jessica knew she had to face notorious seas, different condition, things that would challenge her to the nth degree - don't we? We know once we type/write that first sentence, phrase, that we have thousands to go, we are sailing into unknown seas...
- Jessica has faced strong winds, rough seas, and so do we. Especially in the middle of a piece - which way will I go? I wish these characters would behave themselves instead of dragging me every which way...I'd like to drown the lot of them!
- Jessica ate chocolates as she crossed the Equator, so that's an upside. It's not all challenges and danger! I eat chocolate every chance I get. When the story is getting me down, chocolate always makes me feel good.
- Jessica has been through violent storms, where she said the best thing to do was to belt up and hold on. Excellent advice for writers - how many times do we want to trash the piece, hide it in the bottom drawer (or a computer file we'll never open again). No, as any NaNoWrMo writer knows (or any other fraught writer will experience), belt up, hold on, you'll get through this storm.
- Okay, Jessica will have completed a 23,000 nautical mile journey when she hops off her 10 m yacht in Sydney. How many thousands of words will you have written when your current journey ends? Like Jessica, victory is close.